CA Gov. Threatens to Withhold Funding from Counties that Don't Respect COVID-19 Rules

Rebekah Sager
June 24, 2020 - 12:15 pm
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    Speaking on the heels of a 5.8 earthquake near Ridgecrest, Governor Gavin Newsom plead with Californians to "be thoughtful," "wear a face covering," and "stay away from large crowds," given the recent increase in people testing positive for COVID-19. 

    Newsom also threatened to withhold funding from those California counties that do not follow the mandated face covering and social distancing rules. Says he will be allocating state funds monthly, not annually so that counties respect the rules. 

    "We are still in the first wave of this pandemic," Newsom said. He went on to discuss the recent increase of COVID-19 cases. 

    Newsom reminded people of Monday's numbers (4, 230 new cases), but then identified how much those numbers have increased by 69% by Wednesday to 7,140 people who've tested with the virus. 

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    Newson says that hospitalizations have increased from 3,177 on Monday to 4,095 on Wednesday -- in 14-days that's equal to a 29% increase with 18% in ICU patients. The governor highlighted the preparedness in the hospital system. 

    "We cannot continue to do what we have done over the last few weeks," Newsom said about people loosening social distancing rules. "People are mixing and it's increasing the spread of this virus," he added. "It is incumbent on us to recognize this." 

    On June 18,  Newsom issued a statewide order requiring the use of masks, and Wednesday, he reminded Californians to wear them, adding that there was no excuse to wearing face coverings. 

    Four suburban counties in Southern California, according to a Los Angeles Times data analysis are primary contributors to the spread of COVID-19 are Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside. 

    A barbecue at a mobile home park in Oxnard resulted in 19 people testing positive for the virus, and authorities are now monitoring an additional 40 people who are close contacts of those who are infected.

    In a tweet Newsom said, "Californians are now required to wear face coverings in public spaces - particularly indoors or when physical distancing is not possible." Adding, "Californians must wear face coverings in common and public indoor spaces and outdoors when distancing is not possible," according to the COVID-19 California website.

    As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the state, Governor Gavin Newsom was considering mandating a statewide order requiring the use of masks. 

    Currently, mask requirements vary from county to county. 

    Also on June 18, the Sacramento Bee reported that the county saw four new deaths and 67 new cases of COVID-19. Dr. Peter Beilenson, the county health services director, said he was aware of similar discussions at the state level.

    Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, has been pushing for a statewide mask order, arguing it’s an issue that “shouldn’t be dependent on county choice.”

    “It’s not like you have to cross a bridge to go from one county to the next,” he said. “There are some things that should be state standards and state mandates.”